Pre-pay meter users 'paying £255 more for energy'

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People who use pre-payment meters for their electricity are paying around £255 more than those on online tariffs, according to new research.

energywatch's study revealed that those who sign up to energy tariffs online are paying around 45 per cent less than metered customers, who generally are energy suppliers' poorest customers.

The energy watchdog estimated that the 'Big Six' are making around £400 million from the high charges.

Speaking on the behalf of the organisation, Graham Kerr said the research provided "hard evidence" of profits being taken from vulnerable customers at time when fuel poverty is rising.

He added: "Instead of taking from the rich to give to the poor, it seems that energy companies are taking from the poor to give to the rich."

energywatch was established in 2000 to protect and promote the interests of gas and electricity customers in the UK.

The body provides impartial advice to consumers and also takes up complaints for those who have had difficultly in having their problems resolved by energy suppliers.

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